Pastor Johnson Suleiman of the Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide , has denied the security report leading to his attempted arrest on Tuesday.
A statement from Ekiti State Governor’s office said, Governor Ayodele Fayose, had prevented the man of God from being arrested in Ado Ekiti by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), when they made alleged spirited efforts to pick him up over a comment he made a couple of weeks ago, which the authorities branded as too ‘caustic’ and ‘inflammatory’.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday on the contentious issue, Pastor Suleiman clarified that what his preaching centred on was the need for Christians to always defend themselves anytime the church was invaded by gunmen and not a direct incendiary comment that can make Christians and Muslims to confront one another.
The cleric added that it was sinful for anyone to order a fellow man to kill a creation of God, describing the alleged comment as a misrepresentation of facts.
He said: “They said I preached in Auchi two weeks ago which they said implied that I was instigating Christians against Muslims . I have always been an advocate of peace and I can’t stay around and be saying such. There are widows, orphans for us to take care of just because of these senseless killings. No leader will see his shepherd being killed and be happy.
“Later, I got anonymous calls from Fulani Herdsmen about what I said. What I said was that, if gunmen came around church to attack churches, you must defend yourself, but if they come to pray, don’t attack. But they quoted me out of context. I am not stupid, I live among the crowd and I am not senseless. Time for self defence has come. Whether you are a Muslim or Christian, someone can’t just come to your house and killed your children and you will keep quiet.
“I said the Christians must not go after them, but if they come after us, then defend yourself. This is what they twisted to mean that Muslims must be killed. I am hearing different versions of the story.
“I was in Abuja for three days why didn’t they come after me. But now that I am in Ekiti, they wanted to lump me up with a man they think was against them. It could have been easier to pick me up in Abuja, I don’t live here.
“If this will make them to clarify what I meant, I can present the video of my preaching. In Aviele in Edo State , Muslims rushed into the church and chased away all church members. I have always been preaching that youths must not kill . It was even wrong for the police or security agency to be coming around me and be saying I preached that Christians should kill Muslims without any verifiable facts.
“The only thing I am seeing is that we must learn how to investigate. I am not happy because of the way Christian community have been reacting. They are even saying they will protests abroad in all Nigerian embassies. I will never be alive and see Christians destroying property of Muslims because there will be problem.
“If they had called me and say I should tone down what I said, I would have gone back to do that. I have never been invited, but if I am invited I will come but that will be at my own time. I was not stopped from preaching.
“This Kaduna crisis confirmed that there was a deliberate attempt to frustrate Christians. The National Assembly must not fold their arms and see this happen. But I have no grudge against Buhari or DSS. They are only doing their job, but the DSS did it wrongly”.
Governor Ayodele Fayose said he had gone to the hotel to take the pastor away to avoid security crisis that his arrest could trigger
Governor Fayose, who challenged the security agencies, especially the DSS to tell Nigerians how many of the Fulani herdsmen that killed thousands of Nigerians across the country have been arrested, added that; “Nigerians, either Muslim or Christian deserve to be protected by the federal government, which controls all security apparatus in the country and the moment the federal government can no longer protect Nigerians from being killed by rampaging herdsmen, citizens of the country will have no option than to defend themselves.”